Sep/Oct 2018 Current Moscow Time: 08:47:35
21 September 2018


  The world’s biggest country, in a magazine. Since 1956.


Thursday, October 06, 2016

Liquor machines and lullaby missiles

by Alice E.M. Underwood

Geology, technology, and prison

1. Even geology is on Russia’s side. Scientists have determined that the tectonic plate upon which Crimea sits is drifting slowly in the direction of Russia. Working at the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, the scientists began studying the movement pattern of the Crimean peninsula after its annexation by Russia in 2014. The referendum may be contested, but where Crimea’s future is concerned, giant telescopes don’t lie.

2. Don’t kill the messenger – unless it’s a messenger bearing free Internet access: then, shoot it down. Flying drones that can beam Internet to land-dwellers without web access are not welcome in Russian airspace. If they show up, the drones (owned by Facebook and other foreign companies) will be shot down as a national security threat. Whether the threat is the drones or the ideas that come with the Internet, they didn’t say.

3. Russia is bringing back forced labor in 2017, but that doesn’t mean a new Gulag archipelago. Valery Maximenko, Deputy Director of Russia’s Federal Penitentiary Service, says that forced labor is better than jail (citing the more social atmosphere and relative lack of restrictions). And maybe he’s right, given today’s prisons: Russia’s Justice Ministry is aiming to implement measures to prepare for prison riots, fearing that uprisings are becoming increasingly likely.

In odder news 

theguardian.com

Quote of the week

“This actually isn’t a joke, although it seems like one. Crimea is moving approximately to the northeast.”
—Alexander Ipatov, Director of the Institute for Applied Astronomy at the Russian Academy of Sciences, on the Crimean peninsula’s tectonic movement toward Russia.

Want more where this comes from? Give your inbox the gift of TWERF, our Thursday newsletter on the quirkiest, obscurest, and Russianest of Russian happenings of the week.

Siberia's natural wonders meet the Duma elections
Siberia's natural wonders meet the Duma elections

This week brings you not just news, but also striking images of the latest discoveries in natural rock formations and mammoth hunting in Siberia. Also, election season. 

Bears, boycotts, and busting rhymes
Bears, boycotts, and busting rhymes

Election aftermath, polar bear attacks, why drivers are against Russia's version of Uber, and maybe even a state secret or two. 

Tanker, toddler, marketer, spy
Tanker, toddler, marketer, spy

Spy gadgets get culinary, Putin parks a tank, and a tyke takes on the wilderness. All that, and the spirit of adventure. 

Liquor machines and lullaby missiles
Liquor machines and lullaby missiles

Patriotic tectonic plates, the threat of airborne Internet, a possible return to the Gulag, and some problems without solutions.  

Solzhenitsyn, Alf, and raccoons all around
Solzhenitsyn, Alf, and raccoons all around

A disturbing attack on a renowned author, and a lighthearted nod to an unlikely TV hero. Plus Russian military expansion, raccoons' domestic expansion, and more unlikely art. 

Can a Martian invasion fix Russia-Europe relations?
Can a Martian invasion fix Russia-Europe relations?

It's a busy week for technology, what with a Mars lander, more secure Internet, electric cars (in unlikely places), and enough counterfeit money to fill an ATM.

How to name your baby (and not get arrested)
How to name your baby (and not get arrested)

Baby BOCh rVF 260602 may have to change his name. Plus, Russia's protest potential, the shrinking middle class, and dabbling with Shamanism. 

False history and forensic literature
False history and forensic literature

Fighting falsified Russian history, righting incorrect Bulgakovian history, and piecing together just what – and how unified – is the Russian nation.